Disgraced MP's girlfriend 'to stand for Tories' in Wellingborough by-election after his recall over 'sexual misconduct'

7 January 2024, 18:58 | Updated: 7 January 2024, 19:13

The girlfriend of disgraced MP Peter Bone has reportedly been selected as the Tories' candidate for the Wellingborough by-election
The girlfriend of disgraced MP Peter Bone has reportedly been selected as the Tories' candidate for the Wellingborough by-election. Picture: Getty

By Chay Quinn

The girlfriend of disgraced MP Peter Bone has reportedly been selected as the Tories' candidate for the Wellingborough by-election - after her partner was recalled from the seat after being found guilty of sexual misconduct by a Commons report.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Former Tory Peter Bone was ousted from the Commons in December and a by-election triggered after more than 10% of constituents in his Wellingborough seat voted to recall him.

Labour has accused the Conservatives of "caving" to the demands by Bone that his partner be picked to stand in his former seat during a by-election.

The recall petition was sparked when Mr Bone was handed a six-week suspension from the House of Commons after an inquiry found he had subjected a staff member to bullying and sexual misconduct.

Conservative Party chairman Richard Holden announced on Sunday that Helen Harrison, a councillor on North Northamptonshire Council, had been picked to fight the election for the party.

He tweeted: "Congratulations to Cllr Helen Harrison on being selected for Wellingborough at a packed meeting of Conservative members this afternoon."

Helen Harrison and Peter Bone are known to be in a relationship
Helen Harrison and Peter Bone are known to be in a relationship. Picture: X

It has been widely reported that Mr Bone and Ms Harrison, who contested the Bolsover seat in 2017 for the Conservatives, are dating.

Ms Harrison has posted a number of photos on social media of them out canvassing together, including since the Tory whip was suspended from Mr Bone following the publication of an inquiry by Parliament's behaviour watchdog into his conduct.

According to a report in The Times in October, Mr Bone, a former minister, had been threatening to stand as an independent candidate in the by-election, potentially splitting the Tory vote, if Ms Harrison was not selected as the party's candidate.

Labour's Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow paymaster general, said: "Rishi Sunak caving to Peter Bone's demand to select his partner so he doesn't run as an independent shows just how weak the Prime Minister is.

"Rishi Sunak is too weak to lead his own party, let alone the country.

"The people of Wellingborough deserve the best possible candidate to represent them, not the product of a quick political fix.

"Only Labour can deliver the change the voters want to see and give Britain its future back."

In October, Mr Bone was found to have "committed many varied acts of bullying and one act of sexual misconduct" against a staff member in 2012 and 2013.

Parliament's behaviour watchdog, the Independent Expert Panel, upheld an earlier investigation which found he broke the MPs' code of conduct on four counts of bullying and one of sexual misconduct.

Harrison (right) was congratulated on becoming the Conservative candidate for Wellingborough in a post by her area's conservative association on X
Harrison (right) was congratulated on becoming the Conservative candidate for Wellingborough in a post by her area's conservative association on X. Picture: X

The panel found that he had indecently exposed himself to the complainant in the bathroom of a hotel room during a work trip to Madrid.

Mr Bone has repeatedly denied the allegations and said in his statement following the result of the recall petition last month that he will "have more to say on these matters in the new year".

The veteran politician was kicked out of the Tory parliamentary party a day after the report was published on October 16.

A date for the by-election has not been set but rules around parliamentary procedure mean it will not take place before February.

Wellingborough has been held by the Conservatives since 2005, when Mr Bone won it from Labour.

The upcoming contest is likely to be a test for the Prime Minister's party, despite Mr Bone securing a healthy majority in 2019.

He held the Northamptonshire seat with a majority of 18,540 over Labour, but the Tories have suffered a series of by-election defeats in recent years, including in constituencies which were theoretically safer.

The majority is smaller than the Tory cushions in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire which fell to Sir Keir Starmer's party in October.

Labour has picked Gen Kitchen as the party's candidate in Wellingborough.

It will be one of at least two Westminster by-elections due this year, with Chris Skidmore triggering a contest in his Kingswood constituency in South Gloucestershire when the former Government net-zero tsar announced last week that he was leaving Parliament in protest at Mr Sunak's decision to grant more North Sea oil and gas drilling licences.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Charles and Camilla attend the King's Parade outside Pomme d'Or Hotel, Liberation Square in St Helier, Jersey

Charles and Camilla 'rushed to safety by security' after suspect 'spotted on roof' just days after Trump rally shooting

A highway bridge collapsed in northwest China.

At least 12 people dead and more than 30 missing after China bridge collapses due to flooding

Ray Reardon has died

Snooker legend Ray Reardon dies aged 91 after cancer battle

Steve Baker and Tom Tugendhat

Top Tory reveals why he is backing Tom Tugendhat to 'put the party back together' as leader

The National Lottery site and app is down

National Lottery down as users unable to access site and app day after global IT outage

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Travel misery continues as global IT outage 'could take weeks to clear' - with over 5,000 flights cancelled worldwide

Nadiya Bychkova allegedly made a complaint to Strictly bosses

Strictly pro Nadiya Bychkova breaks silence over 'complaint' amid misconduct scandal

An independent review has recommended teachers and nurses get 5.5% pay rises

Teachers and nurses among millions of public sector workers that should get 5.5% pay rise, ministers told

Tom Tugendhat

Two top Tories back Tom Tugendhat to be next Conservative leader

Shockat Adam

Independent MP who dedicated surprise win to Gaza 'hit with death threat'

The Tavistock Centre

'No evidence' curbs on puberty blockers have led to rise in suicide among trans children, report finds

Thousands of flights were cancelled across the globe on Friday.

Boss of company behind global IT outage 'sincerely apologises' for worldwide chaos sparked by software bug

President Joe Biden

Joe Biden insists he will stay in race, as president's family 'discuss exit plan from election campaign'

A burnt out car in the Leeds suburb of Harehills, after vehicles were set on fire and a police car was overturned as residents were warned to stay home following an outbreak of disorder on Thursday evening. Picture date: Friday July 19, 2024.

Council to hold 'urgent review of 'family matter' after rioters wreak havoc in Leeds on night of 'shocking' carnage

Brendan Cole slaps his partner Fiona Hill's bottom three times

Strictly pro dancer slaps female partner's bottom three times in freshly surfaced footage, after two dancers leave show

Trump gunman researched Royal family member during planning for assassination attempt

Donald Trump gunman 'scoped out Kate Middleton and had pictures of her on his phone' before failed murder attempt